Red Dot Awards for 2019

Happy New Year! Time to open a new chapter in our working lives, one that is full of learning, growth, and productivity. I like to kick off the year with a recent Red Dot Award winner. The Red Dot competition is hosted in Germany, and celebrates human-centric design and innovative products from around the world. Last year I reported on the L16 Computational Camera by Bould Design and Light in Red Dot Awards for 2018. Starting the year with great design reminds me to bring beauty and elegance to my work.

Scrolling Keyboard by Royole Corporation

Scrolling Keyboard by Royole Corporation

This year I selected the Scrolling Keyboard by Royole Corporation, designed in-house in Fremont, California. The keyboard is 6 inches wide (154 mm) and rolls up into a tube. When extended it connects to a mobile device via Bluetooth. Push a button to roll it up back in the tube. Although tiny, when compared with the size of mobile phone keyboard, it seems quite generous. This is ideal for anyone who computes on the go.

I research and write everywhere I go, and love tools that are small, compact, and practical. This would be perfect for situations where I need to throw up a quick “office” in a small space like on an airplane or at a coffee shop. The keyboard seems to be in the design stage, but I’d love to try it out in the future.

People are Not Property

I’m always on the lookout for good signs that convey important information in a small space. This sobering sign was posted in a gas station restroom north of Medford, Oregon. My husband and I had stopped for gas and the facilities, just after dusk in January, on our way back to the Bay Area. The gas station was off the road, in a desolate area surrounded with open land.


The message is serious, and its posting location ideal for its target audience of vulnerable people who may be travelling through and need a life line. The message is bilingual, also targeting its audience. Multiple methods for getting help are listed – an easy-to-remember repetitive phone number, texting information, and a website provide multiple ways to get help. It’s also a good reminder for the rest of us to stay observant to the plight of others around you.

Coffee Maker UI

On a recent trip, one of our hotels provided a Keurig single-cup coffeemaker with an assortment of K-cups. I took a few minutes to analyze the coffee maker user interface, while brewing my morning cuppa.

A visual “user guide” is printed on the side of the coffee maker, making it easy for national and international travelers to brew a beverage.


Plus, the coffee maker design guides users through the beverage making process. Push the button on top to get started. The Place Cup light glows, and the K-cup holder opens. Position the paper cup under the dispenser, and insert the K-cup. Close the holder lid, and the water reservoir lid opens up. Add water, and close the lid, and the Brew button glows. Press the Brew button, and the Heating light glows. Soon, the coffee dispenses into the cup.

This is an example of ideal user design. The traveler is treated to a great user experience and cup of coffee, with no need for written instructions.